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An Edmonton, Alta-primarily based cannabis producer announced Tuesday it has secured a partnership with Harvard University to launch a new centre to study the drug.

Atlas Biotechnologies Inc. will be teaming up with Harvard International Catalyst, a cross-institutional plan at Harvard. Collectively they will open the International Phytomedicines and Healthcare Cannabis Institute at Harvard (Harvard IPI), primarily based out of the Harvard Healthcare College in Boston.

Atlas mentioned in a statement it will be a single of the biggest worldwide efforts to study healthcare cannabis and phytomedicines, which are medicines derived from plants.

“We appear forward to constructing a extended-term connection with Harvard Healthcare College, with the aim of enhancing lives by discovering new properties of cannabis for targeted healthcare applications,” Atlas CEO and President Sheldon Croome mentioned in a statement.

The partnership will final 3 years and trials are anticipated to start subsequent year, according to CTV.

Atlas will provide the cannabis to Harvard from its production facility close to Edmonton for the university’s study into cannabis’ impact on discomfort management and neurological situations.

According to Harvard, the mission of IPI is to “leverage the very best science, technologies, and education from Harvard and companion institutions to convert prospective higher effect medicinal plants to proof-primarily based pharmaceutical grade merchandise for worldwide wellness and financial improvement.”

Harvard pointed out in its announcement of the partnership that when about 80 % of the world’s population use plants for medicine, only 15 % of the 300,000 plant species identified have been researched for healthcare applications.

As cannabis is legalized in a lot more states in the U.S. and other nations about the globe, a lot more study is important into the plant and its distinct elements, such as cannabinoids.

This could be a sign that universities are starting to get on board with cannabis study.

Earlier this month, Harvard alumni Charles R. Broderick donated $9 million to the university and the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies (MIT) to study cannabinoids.

The partnership with Harvard is not the 1st time Atlas has teamed up with a university. In September, the corporation joined the University of Alberta to come across efficiencies in cannabis waste management in a plan referred to as the Cannabis Waste Project.

Harvard might only be the starting of Atlas’ operate with universities in the U.S. The corporation says that there might be “potential distribution” for R&D purposes to other post-secondary institutions in the nation.

Atlas has had a license to develop, sell and distribute cannabis merchandise because December final year, but has selected to target the medicinal industry rather than recreational.